Let’s start with the story of the adulterous woman in John 8: 1-11
“Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst,They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.”
The Pharisees were religious teachers of the Jewish nation. They knew the Torah (the written law of Moses) and the Talmud (the oral law/traditions of Moses). Most of us know the 10 commandments. Did you know that there are actually 613 laws that the Torah commands us to follow? And these men were well versed in all of them. They were constantly trying to trick Yeshua (Jesus) into a false answer to discredit Him.
When Yeshua said “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her“
Not one of them stuck around. They dropped their stones and walked away. I would have to do the same.
Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. Romans 3:20
For whosoever shall keep the whole law, and yet offend in one point, he is guilty of all. James 2:10
Until I remove the sin in my own life, how can I expect others to listen to me when I pronounce judgement on them? If I judge others harshly, then I can expect God to judge me in the same manner,
Do not judge so that you will not be judged. 2 For by the standard you judge you will be judged, and the measure you use will be the measure you receive. 3 Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but fail to see the beam of wood in your own? 4 Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye,’ while there is a beam in your own? 5 You hypocrite! First remove the beam from your own eye, and then you can see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye. Matthew 7:1-5
Please read Romans 2. Seriously go read the whole chapter 🙂
Therefore thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things.2 But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things.3 And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?4 Or despisest thou the riches of his goodness and forbearance and longsuffering; not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance?5 But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God;6 Who will render to every man according to his deeds:7 To them who by patient continuance in well doing seek for glory and honour and immortality, eternal life:8 But unto them that are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, indignation and wrath,9 Tribulation and anguish, upon every soul of man that doeth evil, of the Jew first, and also of the Gentile;10 But glory, honour, and peace, to every man that worketh good, to the Jew first, and also to the Gentile:11 For there is no respect of persons with God.
When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord.
Not one man could condemn her. Neither can I. We are all sinners in God’s eyes.
Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: Romans 5:12
And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee:
Jesus didn’t condemn her. He saved her from death by stoning, the punishment required for her sin of adultery. What a beautiful picture of the cross! As a sinner, I am deserving of death!
The most quoted verse of the Bible:
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16
But we stop at verse 16. Keep reading:
For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. John 3:17
Let me go back to the beginning. Adam disobeyed God by eating the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. That act of sin brought death into the world.
But of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil,thou shalt not eat of it: for in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die. Genesis 2:17
The only way to avoid death is to live a perfect obedient life – following all 613 of God’s commandments. But I can’t do that. No human can. Not the Pharisees, Not I. But the One who was obedient did.
And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil 2:8
Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. Romans 5:18, 19
For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 1 Cor 15:21, 22
Yeshua didn’t die just for the saints. For the do-gooders. For the morally sound. He died also for the criminals. For the immoral. The disobedient ones. Guess what? That’s every single last person in humanity. Because I can’t keep God’s law, I am a criminal in God’s eyes. The Lawmaker has pronounced judgement on me and I am found guilty. Yeshua became the perfect sacrifice. He died for ALL men. He took my place.
For he has made him, who knew no sin, to be sin for us; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Corinthians 5:21
The Greek word for righteousness comes from the root word dikaios. It means innocent, faultless, guiltless. My sins are covered by His blood. The Lawmaker proclaims me innocent. Not by my works of the law, but by Yeshua’s fullfillment of the law. Hallelujah!
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill. Matthew 5:17
Now, for the last part of Yeshua’s statement to the woman: “go, and sin no more.“
Ok this is where I honestly struggled. And I am sure many other Christians have too. How do we not judge to condemnation without condoning the sin? Yeshua didn’t condemn her to death, but He did tell her to “sin no more.” He didn’t condone her sin. He knew it was wrong. The same goes for my sins. Even though I am saved, no longer condemned, I still have to choose not to sin.
What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound 2 God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? Romans 6:1,2
Romans 6 is a wonderful chapter. Paul reasons out how through Yeshua I am now dead to the old (sinful, fleshly) man and alive in Christ through His Grace! That even though I am covered under grace, I still need to keep the law by living for God. Here are only portions of the chapter (I recommend reading through the whole chapter since I hate taking things out of context).
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord.12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should obey it in the lusts thereof.13 Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God. Romans 6:11-13
So in my own life, I need to live for Christ by letting His Spirit work through me. What is the greatest law that I should obey?
Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. Matthew 22:35-40
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22,23
LOVE. If I am truly “alive in Christ” and His Spirit reigns in me, then obeying God will naturally flow out. The first fruit of the Spirit is LOVE. And the greatest commandment is to LOVE the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, and mind. If I love the Lord my God, then why would I continue to sin when I know it breaks His heart?
Now, what does it look like showing this love without condoning sin in others? Lets start with first fellow believers:
Speak not evil one of another, brethren. He that speaketh evil of his brother, and judgeth his brother, speaketh evil of the law, and judgeth the law: but if thou judge the law, thou art not a doer of the law, but a judge.There is one lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy: who art thou that judgest another? James 4:11, 12
The word “evil” is the Greek word katalaléō. It means to be a traducer, i.e. to slander- speak against (evil of). The Pharisees in the story of the adulterous woman were slandering another human for their own selfish motive. They were trying to tempt Yeshua. I don’t know if it was pride or jealousy. Either way, their motive behind pronouncing judgement on this woman was wrong. They were correct in the fact that she had broken the law. But by slandering her, they were slandering God’s law and making themselves to be judges. That right belongs to God, the lawgiver. Don’t be like the Pharisees. If I am trying to bring up a sin of another person with evil intent in my heart, I am no better than the person who’s sin I am trying to judge.
If a fellow follower of Christ is overcome by sin, then through meekness point them back to Christ.
Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Galatians 6:1
Meekness is the Greek word praotēs which means gentleness, by implication, humility:—meekness. Remembering that it easily could have been me. That if I am not careful, the sin could tempt me as well.
Restore them. Restore is the Greek word katartizō which mean to complete thoroughly, i.e. repair (literally or figuratively) or adjust:—fit, frame, mend, (make) perfect(-ly join together), prepare, restore. Bring them back Jesus.
Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican…21Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times?22 Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.. Matthew 18:15-17, 21,22
So this is the extreme. If I have been wronged by a fellow believer, these are the steps I am to take. First, take it to him privately. If that doesn’t work, take witnesses. By chance he still is unrepentant, take it finally to the church. If he doesn’t respond to the church, then he has three times denied his trespass. And by denying his sin, he is denying Christ. If we read further down the chapter though, we are to forgive him. Just like Christ forgave us. Always with a spirit of forgiveness and LOVE.
Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.James 5:16
I am going to fail. I am still fighting the flesh. My hope and prayer is that a fellow believer in Christ will come along side to gently steer me back to my Savior when that happens.
A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger. Proverbs 15:1
(lol my mom had me learn this verse when I argued with my siblings growing up)
But I have to be careful not to force my idea of what is “sin” onto another believer. That’s called legalism. Rules, traditions, opinions created by man. I love how this blog defines legalism: “To follow God, you have to do X, because that’s in God’s Law. Otherwise, you won’t be righteous.”
For example: there is no law against smoking. Or wearing only skirts if you are a woman. But if I were to tell another believer that by smoking or wearing pants, they are unrepentant sinners who are damned, I would be so out of line. The whole book of Galatians speaks out against following the traditions of man. And how the requirements of the law have been fulfilled (no need to circumcise or eat only kosher meats for salvation: see 1 Corinthians 20). False teachers were putting these restrictions/requirements on believers and hindering them from truly following Yeshua. Paul stated
“All things are lawful unto me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.” 1 Corinthians 20:12
God know the heart. He knows the intent. I don’t.
I the Lord search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. Jeremiah 17:10
I hope to write part two soon. שָׁלוֹם לְךָ Peace to you